Tributes have been paid to John Cranage, left, who worked for newspapers including the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, the Express & Star, Wolverhampton and the Reading Evening Post over the course of his career.
For the Express & Star, John had stints as a district reporter in both Lichfield and his native Walsall, as well as working in Dudley for the Mail.
However, he switched to concentrate on business journalism both as a staffer and on a freelance basis.
Birmingham Post & Mail acting executive editor Graeme Brown said: “John was a fine journalist and a beautiful writer. During his time at the Post, he showed a verve for writing often quite technical pieces in a way which engaged the his audience.
“His brilliance on the page didn’t just stop at newspapers as he was also a talented author who penned several books. He was also a lovely person to work with – a strident but friendly man who knew his own mind and had an infectious passion for things that really mattered to him, like the written word. He will be sorely missed.”
John began his career on his hometown newspaper the Walsall Observer before moving to Reading.
He returned to the Black Country in 1976 to work for the Express & Star, before switching to the Birmingham titles. He also wrote for Investors’ Chronicle.
Birmingham Post & Mail editor-in-chief Marc Reeves said: “He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the automotive and wider manufacturing industry in the city and could always be relied upon to put a story into its historical perspective.”
Former Birmingham Post business editor John Duckers, who wrote an obituary for his ex-colleague, added: “His copy was always diligent, reliable and comprehensive. You could throw anything at him and he would produce.
“He worked on many notable stories in his time and was a real all-rounder. Be it car accidents, murders, business appointments or the demise of Rover and LDV, big and small, nothing fazed him. John was a lovely guy and will be sadly missed.”
John suffered a fatal stroke, and is survived by his sister Jane Wainwright. His funeral will be at Streetly Crematorium, near Walsall, at 10am on 9 December.